Penticton & South Okanagan News
Medical marijuana event
The Canadian Silver Tour is bringing cannabinoid education to Summerland on Saturday, in support of 2-year-old Kyla Williams, who suffers from epilepsy.
The event will feature several speakers on the subject, as well as a presentation by Williams' grandfather Chris Nuessler.
"We want to educate the local populace and get support, so kids like Kyla don't suffer," said Jim Leslie, a retired border service officer and director of the tour.
Nuessler, a Summerland resident, plans to talk a little about himself, his family and tell the story of Kyla.
She was born Feb. 1, 2012 and six months later was admitted to Vancouver Children's Hospital, with what her pediatrician suspected was epilepsy.
After many tests, she was diagnosed with retractable seizure disorder or epilepsy, with cortical visual impairment due to abnormal brain activity.
She has severe developmental delay due to seizures and at age 2 does not walk, talk or hold herself up.
Several drugs were tried, but to no avail. Then a family member called and suggested watching a CNN report called Weeds 2. It was a report on kids like Kyla with epilepsy being treated in Colorado, with a form of medical marijuana known as Charlotte's Web.
The family researched the matter, and after much effort Kyla is now on a high CBD, low THC oil. As a result, her seizures have subsided and most days she has no seizures at all.
Nuessler will share the full story at the event at the Royal Canadian Legion in Summerland.
"This is about bringing awareness because we need access to this product, and we felt like criminals trying to access it,"he said.
The tour has been focusing on educating senior citizens, to date, on the history of the medical use of cannabis, (marijuana), and via current science and anecdotal experience, uses for cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant to combat a wide variety of chronic and terminal illnesses and reduce the toxic side effects of pharmaceutical medications.
"We have reached out with valid scientific information to all groups in society, including nonprofit medical support societies, seniors centres, law enforcement and all levels of government," said Leslie. "When the science of cannabis is widely known, the final barriers in the way of access to cannabis by two groups in society who need it the most, children and seniors, will fall."
Other speakers on Saturday are Dr. Lester Grinspoon, associate professor emeritus of pyschiatry at Harvard Medical School, pre-recorded, and Rick Simpson, Canadian Medical Cannabis Pioneer - Phoenix Tears, live via Skype from Croatia.
The event is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion, 14205 Rosedale Ave., Summerland.
Nuessler is expected to speak at both sessions.
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